Cats in contact with elite 2010 wing forward

Over the last six-weeks the courtship between the University of Kentucky and elite wing forward Harrison Barnes has heated up. KSR recently spoke to Barnes regarding his recruitment by the Wildcats, and his impressions of Billy Gillispie.

It's been a crazy spring and summer for Ames, IA, rising junior Harrison Barnes. Barnes, previously little-known nationally, has shot up the recruiting ranking lists and become a major target for some of college basketball's highest profile programs. Along the way he's been besieged by calls from recruiters and reports, but KSR was able to catch up with him briefly to chat about his interest in Kentucky.

Barnes, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound small forward rated No. 6 overall in the Class of 2010, first heard from Kentucky roughly six weeks ago, and has remained in contact with assistant coach Tracy Webster. He's also gotten to know head coach Billy Gillispie.

Gillispie "is just very personable and easy to talk to, and he comes off as a really good coach," said Barnes, who earned rave reviews recently for his performance at the Nike Global Challenge.

"The 6-foot-6 wing glides to the basket and once he's there he adjusts so well. To go with his smooth drives, he's equipped with a text book jump shot that seems to always find the bottom of the net," wrote's Evan Daniels.

He's earned offers from Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Texas, Maryland, UCLA and Wisconsin, among many more. So what is his interest level in UK?

"I have a lot of interest. They have a great program and a very rich tradition," he said. "I have not been there, but me and my mom have talked about getting out there for a visit" this fall … They have extended an offer and I am very interested in them."

Barnes is in no rush to commit and says he's wide open. He doesn't plan to make a decision until he takes official visits during his senior year. It'll be a while before his recruitment takes on any definitive direction, but it seems clear Kentucky is very much in the mix early on. KSR will keep you posted…

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